Give Yourself to Others …

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The point I’m trying to make is this:  The primary question of faith does not begin with what you believe about Jesus — and I’m not minimizing that point — I’m just saying that is not the first question.

The first question is what you believe about God.

Do you believe God is supreme?  Did God create the universe?  Is having a relationship with God important and relevant?

If your answer to these questions is “no,” then the gospel of Jesus provides nothing of value to you.  Because the significance of Jesus is he offers a path to restore the severed relationship between God and mankind.

I’ve been contemplating the nature of our relationship with God, in the broad context of the Scriptures and our redemption.

It seems to me, much of the Christian world may have missed the substantive point.

I understand the Text (which is the word I prefer to “Bible”) reveals God’s original intent was we should have an eternal relationship with him; but because God gave us the ability to choose or reject that goal, in broad terms, we have rejected it.  That was choice displayed in the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

We fell victim to the belief, that because we could recognize the difference between Good and Evil, just as God does, then we would be like God.  Well, we were already “like” God; but as is always the case, we thought we could actually be equal with God — which is a whole different matter.

So, God gave us the Law of Moses, to demonstrate to us how little we knew about being equal with God.  In the New Testament text, we’re told the Law was put in place so we would recognize this failure by us to live up to God’s standard.

As a result, and as he always said he would, God put in place a path which leads us back to him.  That path, of course, was the life of Jesus, his death, resurrection and restoration to God — the good news — the gospel.

The choice left for us is whether to fully submit our individual will to the will of God, and devote ourselves to seeking after God in every way, at every moment, every day.

However, even if we are fully devoted, we will fail to achieve that goal, which is the Text states “we are saved by grace” and that’s a gift from God, not something we have earned.  Because if we had to earn it, we would be condemned for all our failures.

The significance of this view is high, especially for those of us raised in modern Western civilization.  For we are taught about our freedom, our individuality, the right to defend ourselves, hold ourselves up, take pride in our accomplishments.  And submission to anyone or anything seems completely counter to our thinking and our way of life.

We are truly unfamiliar with the concept of submission.  We don’t appreciate the idea of Jesus as King or God as Lord — because we have never had anyone or anything with truly life and death power over us.

Thus, we struggle with our pride and self-reliance and self-importance.

And God seeks our submission.

The question for each day is:  How may I submit myself to God today?

And the answer, from the Text, is:  Give yourself to others, for their good, expecting nothing in return.

I’m certainly as political as anyone.  I worked in politics in Washington, DC, for 15 years.  And while I had my preferences regarding the outcome of yesterday’s election.  I sadly disheartened by how many people are truly being rude and unkind in celebrating their victory, or agonizing over their loss.

Please remember it’s possible to disagree, without being disagreeable.

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